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Roasting a Chicken


lullyloo
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Before you try roasting them, try my "Naked Fried Thighs". A package of 6 commercial chicken thighs (or a better grade if you have them) and about 1/4 stick of cheap margarine (NOT SPREAD!). Melt margarine in a frying pan just large enough to hold thighs without crowding and fry, skin down, over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until skin is golden. Turn skin up and continue cooking for about another 15 min. or until juices run clear, with no pink, when poked. Turn back to skin down and cook for about 3 to 5 min. more, until skin is crispy as a potato chip. EAT! Season with salt and pepper on the meat side if preferred, before cooking, BUT leave skin side alone, please. Degrease pan as necessary. Sorry, no gravy from these, but they sure are good!

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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What is the purpose of using margarine? What does it do that olive/canola/grapeseed/etc. wouldn't do?

Also, what is purpose of degreasing if there won't be pan gravy?

Just curious....

Monterey Bay area

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I do a roast chicken , but it is in pieces,, I break it down into 2 leg/ thighs, 2 halves of breast, two wings,(cut off tips of legs and wings,save back for stock, ) then put all, with skin still on, in big bowl with about a cup of canning and pickling salt, and get all coated well...let it sit for a half hour, and then rinse off the excess salt, and put it all in a nonstick 12 inch fry pan, and roast in the oven at375fºconvection, for 45 minutes to an hour(until skin gets nice and brown)...

saves the carving ,,

Bud

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When I roast a chicken, I use Bittman's method, mainly because it doesn't ask very much of me. I don't brine, I don't baste, I don't truss. I put a chicken in a pan, start with an initial high temp, then put olive oil on the skin about 15 minutes after putting it in, and turn the heat down. No vegetables, no rack. My variation- I undercook the damn thigh meat. And eat it anyway. When the breast reaches whatever temperature Bittman suggests for the thighs - I can't remember offhand, as I always have to convert it to Celsius anyway - I pull it out. I let it rest, and off we go. Is it safe? I guess not. Is it juicy and delicious? Yes. Is it perfectly roasted? Who knows? But then, I'm not feeding a) guests b) children or c) pregnant women, so I feel comfortable dicing with death this way.

Starting with a fat, nice chicken helps, and so does the smell of the bird roasting wafting through the house. Extra points if you don't eat anything all the while smelling the bird. Hunger makes the best sauce.

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What is the purpose of using margarine? What does it do that olive/canola/grapeseed/etc. wouldn't do?

Also, what is purpose of degreasing if there won't be pan gravy?

Just curious....

Margarine, just because it's all I had when I first made these, and for some reason, to me, it does not taste right with a different (better) fat. Degrease, because there is a ton of fat in the pan when the meat is cooked, and it might overflow the pan. Also, you could make a cream gravy with a bit of the fat, as there are some good bits that float on top, or, rarely, stick to the pan.

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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  • 3 months later...

When I do a roast chicken, I usually brine it, then spatchcock it, then do a high heat roast. But last week, I decided to roast one whole. Bought a nice Bell and Evans chicken from Whole Foods. It was just under 4 pounds. Brined it. Then trussed it. Roasted it at about 400. Started breast side down. Then flipped it over 20 minutes or so into the cooking. Basted it with some melted butter a few times while cooking. This is what I got

roastchicken-20100906-204003.jpg

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Now that we've finally started having some chilly weather I've been using the oven again, and I roasted my first chicken since spring a couple days ago. Lately, I've been spatchcocking the chicken and cutting the joints between the wings/breasts and legs/thighs to cut down the cooking time. This was a 3.5 pound bird and it took about half an hour in a 450 degree oven!

I also tried making bread sauce for the first time, which will definitely be an addition to my cold weather side dishes.

chickenseptember.jpg

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  • 4 months later...

So I did a brined, butterflied roast chicken, with garlic, herbs and butter under the skin recently and it was very good. My only complaint is that the skin didn't brown as much as I would have liked. Anyway, I'm thinking of using a marinade, maybe orange-based, this time. Suggestions?

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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So I did a brined, butterflied roast chicken, with garlic, herbs and butter under the skin recently and it was very good. My only complaint is that the skin didn't brown as much as I would have liked. Anyway, I'm thinking of using a marinade, maybe orange-based, this time. Suggestions?

Did you let it dry out long enough after brining? I like to let it air dry for several hours (overnight even) before roasting. Otherwise, the moisture will inhibit browning.

nunc est bibendum...

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I pre-salt a chicken in a plastic bag, 1tsp salt for a small 2.5lb bird. After a couple of days in the bag, I quickly kitchen-paper it over to get the worst of the moisture, and sit it uncovered on a rack in the fridge for maybe a day or two, turning once, to get the skin dry. I too do the start-breast-down, turn once thing, but I give two thirds of the cooking time to the breast-down phase. These steps make all the difference in getting a parchment-like crispy skin with the delicious melting fat behind it, rather than slimy old uncoloured tepid chicken skin.

I'm very happy with the results this basic technique. I do still think that the whole roasting-poultry-whole thing is too ingrained in kitchen habit. When the whole-bird presentation is important you have no choice, but I keep telling myself the sensible thing really would be to separate breast from the rest and cook each at the ideal temperature for the ideal time.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Scratch that last. As it turns out I neglected to get the whole chicken at the butcher's (thinking it would be cheaper at the supermarket) only to find the supermarket had no whole chickens. Weird, huh?

Anyway I ended up with some rock cornish hens. Do I brine? Marinate? Butterfly? Anything else I should know? I've never actually made these before.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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After trying a million different ways over the past 10 years, I feel like I have arrived at the perfect roast chicken. It's an adaptation of Marcella Hazan's recipe and works for me 100%. Breast and dark meat are perfect.

3 1/2 pound chicken, preferably Murray's

sea salt

pepper

good fresh semi-sharp paprika

2 SMALL lemons

trussing needle and butcher's twine

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix generous amount of sea salt with freshly ground pepper and semi-sharp paprika. I use about 1 tbs salt. The final mix should have a decidedly red-and-black tinge.

Pat chicken dry thoroughly, inside and out. Rub all over, inside and out, with salt-pepper-paprika mixture.

Roll the lemons on the counter with two hands to loosen juices inside. Prick all over at least 20 times with a trussing needle (that means the ends as well). Stuff them both into the bird's cavity. It should be possible to fit both lemons.

Sew up the vent thoroughly. Tie the legs together so they are firm against the breast. Sew up the neck as well - should only take a small amount of twine (Hazan doesn't mention this, but from the way she expects the bird to swell up, there has to be something to seal off this end as well).

Place bird upside-down (legs down, back up) in roasting pan.

Place pan in top third of oven, as close as possible to the top (I use a gas oven heated from the top - temperatures are very accurate).

Roast 30 minutes.

Turn bird right-side up. Roast for 25 minutes.

Turn heat up to 450. Roast for another 20 minutes.

Remove bird from oven, allow to rest on carving board for 5-10 minutes. Carve and serve.

Note on time: bird requires 20-25 minutes per pound. I find that the above times and temperatures are perfect for a 3.5 lb Murray's bird in my oven. For a slightly heavier bird, I go 30, 30 and 20 on times. I don't find that larger birds roast as well (despite the "roaster" epithet).

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After a few years of experimentation I've decided I don't like wet brines. They give a strange texture to the meat, and if it's good, the bird tastes less "like itself." I did try a dry brine on my heritage turkey this past Thanksgiving (Bourbon Red) and had good results. But I don't brine my roast chicken at all and it turns out just fine.

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I agree on the dry brine, I break down a 5 lb. or so chicken,throwing away the back, and put all the pieces in a big bowl, and pour a cup of Morton canning and pickling salt over it and stir it up,with your hand,to get it evenly distributed, let it sit for 20 minutes and then rinse it all off, and dry it off,

then put all the pieces in a 12inch teflon fry pan and bake on convection at 375deg until the color is good

really easy and good...

Bud

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Ah, convection. I don't have it, but have used it elsewhere. It's pretty incredible for roasts.

I used the same routine,long before the convection oven,(don't remember the temps,)and it worked just as well

Bud

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Thanks Bud. I believe I've achieved the perfect roast chicken, but I can't resist continuing to innovate, so I will give this a try.

You don't re-salt the chicken before putting it in the oven?

No its just right at 20 or 25 minutes before rinsing/drying.if its not enoughfor you,you can leave it longer(be careful,its easy to over do it)

Bud...

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I have been wondering what distinguishes dry-brining from salting early?

Hi,

I don't know the concept of salting early. If that means salting one or two hours before cooking the only results will be loss of moisture.

Dry brining means salting well in advance (6 hours to a few days), wrapping and refrigerating. The salt draws out the moisture, dissolves and is reabsorbed by the meat. This results in seasoning and protein denaturing.

Tim

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Tried dry-brining... did not make an appreciable difference in my recipe above.

I think thats because mine is broken down into individual pieces,so there is more surface area for the salt to get into...

Bud

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OK I'm going to try true dry-brining next... I was using Bud's method. What Tim describes is what I used on our turkey at Thanksgiving, which seemed to have good results.

With all this said... I'm pretty happy with my chicken, so it will be interesting to see what kind of improvement this makes, if any.

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